Strange & Clever Toilets: 14 of the Best Seats in the House
Article by Mike, filed under Fixtures & Interiors in the Design category.

Toilets Main Montage

When asked to list essential, life-enhancing furniture around the home, there are not many people who would include their toilet. However, remove it from their home and they’d be aware of it in a very short time. The humblest seat in the house is also the most vital. For that reason, let us celebrate the ingenuity, creativity and widespread influence of modern toilets  – because to build the ideal home, you really should start at the bottom.

One-Way Public Toilet

(Images via: MSN and Tension Not).

First up, some public toilet designs that you might see moving indoors sometime soon. This design by Monica Bonvicini uses one-way glass to create the unsettling illusion that you’re performing your ablutions in full view of the whole world. If you can fight down the feeling that surely somebody can see you with your pants round your ankles, it’s a fascinating (and deeply weird) way to watch the world go by.

Rising Public Toilet

Urilift

(Images via: Spluch and John Chow).

But if a public convenience in full view is seen as a very public inconvenience, why not hide it away? These two toilets take up the challenge by using the y-axis to hide all sins. The toilet at top is normally stored underground, so all you can see is the scenic sculpture on its roof – but pop a coin (1 yuan, in this case) into the slot and hey presto, one toilet. (We’re presuming that it won’t sink down again while it’s still occupied). The Urilift is designed to meet the needs of boozy gentlemen weaving their way back home after an evening in their cups – during the day it looks like a manhole cover, but at night it twirls into view to present urinals in all directions.

High Voltage toilet?

(Image via: Whole Wheat Toast).

And for making sure that nobody takes your public toilet for granted? Okay, so this design is a spoof (at the Hunter’s Point Shipyard Studios, SF). But this is guaranteed to make any guy think twice about doing what comes naturally to him. A design that heightens awareness, shall we say.

Bench toilet

(Image via: luxurygaze).

And if you want to want your toilet out of sight in your own home, here’s a classy-looking option. This Bench Toilet doubles as an elegant table, thanks to a sliding wood panel. (But there is a catch: it costs over $11,000 – so this is one for when you are really…er, flush).

Sunghoon Mun Toilet

(Images via:  Yanko Design).

For a commode that you’d be proud to display in full view, have a look at Sung Hoon Mun’s Cell toilet. Its polished surface and fashionably curving lines make it look like it was designed within the supercar industry…and under the hood – I mean lid – you would be surprised to find that it doesn’t require a tank, hence the unusually ground-hugging egg shape.

Pimped Out John and $75k toilet

(Images via: Pinny Cohen and Diamond Vues).

So now for toilets that take things a little too far. On the left, the winningly-named Pimped Out John, sporting a frankly ludicrous array of modifications including a laptop, a gaming console, TiVo, a fully-stocked refrigerator and even some exercise pedals to help you lose weight while you…lose weight. This is a one-off item and not available in the stores, and frankly we are glad of it (imagine the effect it would have on kids that already hog the bathroom in the morning). Another distinctly noncommercial example is the Isis toilet, which shimmers because it is studded with $75,000 of crystals. On a practical note, I bet it gets cold in the winter.

Propelair and Dignity toilets

(Images via: Propelair and Cooler Solutions Inc.).

The house of tomorrow will hoard its precious water. There are already methods in development to use kitchen sink grey water to flush toilets, but until they’re part of a designer’s standard toolkit, it would be sensible to cap the amount of water available without detracting from the unit’s function. This is what Propelair aims to do – by sealing the bowl and pushing air through it, it uses just 1.5 litres for a full flush (around 80% less than the standard).  The Dignity toilet provides a sanitary alternative to a regular water supply in drought conditions – it holds its contents hygienically for a week, and then the top is undocked, augered into the ground in a safe spot, and opened.

Toilet Dog Water Bowl

(Image via: Collections Etc.).

BAD boy.You know how pets do that really disgusting thing with the drinking of the water in the toilet? This toilet-themes dog water bowl has us in two minds: obviously dogs will love it, and the design makes good sense (automatically refilling as it empties). But isn’t it teaching your dog to drink out the toilet? If you have given up trying to dissuade Fido from his disturbing habits, this is a practical way to concede defeat.

Toilet seat scales

(Image via: Yanko Design).

And while we’re talking about items that give the wrong message – how about a toilet seat that tells you exactly how much weight you’re losing? That is precisely what the Toilet Seat Scale does (precisely). People with a weight micro-management problem form an unhealthy queue here, please.

Toilet house

(Images via: Spluch and Freshome).

So we are agreed – toilets can look great. But would you want to live in one? For South Korean Sim Jae-Duck, chairman of the World Toilet Association, the answer is a firm “Yes” – or at least, a house that looks like one until you go inside and see the luxury on offer. This stunning example of ultra-modern designwork (with a touch of eccentricity) is advertised as “a place of sanctuary” – just like its humbler counterpart.

Largest toilet in the world?

(Image via: The Register).

But if you think a house-sized toilet is faintly ludicrous – what about this building? Could this be the world’s most monstrous porcelain throne – and why?

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